For more than a decade, Ruby has been used by developers more often to build web applications cost-effectively for quick solutions.
Ruby is an open source and dynamic programming language which focuses on productivity and simplicity. It comes with an elegant syntax which is easy to write and read.
When it comes to developing Ruby on Rails applications, a large number of tools and resources are available in the market for developers.
These tools can be used by them to carry out seamless development all the while keeping the codes clean. Apart from maintaining the codes clean, such kind of tools makes it easy to arrange complex code.
Top IDEs for Ruby on Rails development
IDE is a software application which is used for carrying out programming. Whatever the developer needs to carry out his work is offered by IDE or the Integrated Development Environment.
There are a number of IDEs for Ruby on Rails development available in the market. The same has been mentioned here.
NetBeans is one of the popular IDEs available for Ruby on Rails development and can be used for different programming languages. This smart IDE comes from Oracle and is absolutely free to use.
Jet Brains RubyMine
If you want to have an IDE which can help you with quick development and comes with modern features then Jet Brains RubyMine is good to go with.
Atom is one of the highly configurable text editors which you can choose for your Ruby on Rails project. It comes from GitHub and has an MIT license.
Sublime Text 3
Sublime Text 3 is a cross-platform code editor. It helps you use plugins for development which makes it a fully featured IDE for your project.
Aptana Studios is Ruby on Rails IDE comes from Appcelerator. It is open source and so free to use for developers.
Komodo IDE comes from ActiveState and is another cross-platform solution for your project. This is open source and can be used across different operating systems.
Cloud 9 is another important IDE which you can use for your Ruby on Rails project. This is capable to work for all programming languages.
VisualStudio Code is another IDE which can be used for your Ruby on Rails project just by installing the extension vscode-ruby.
Redcar is an open source project which was written in Ruby and ran on JRuby.
Different Ruby on Rails Tools & Gems for development, testing and performance optimization
Ruby on Rails tools is based on different needs of the project development lifecycle. You need tools for development, testing and performance optimization. Here are the top tools which you need for your Ruby on Rails development:
The standard IRB shell that you use for Ruby can be replaced with this powerful alternative called Pry. It features flexible plugin architecture, syntax highlighting, source and documentation browsing and runtime invocation. More than being an IRB replacement, Pry attempts to bring REPL driven programming into the language of Ruby. Just like SLIME is for lisp, Pry is not that powerful tool but, it can be considered as a general way to proceed further. Pry comes with a certain level of flexibility and it can be used to include user customization of a significant level when you want to implement custom shells.
Any unused CSS selectors can be cleaned using Deadweight. All you have to do is to hand out a set of HTML pages and style sheet of your application and it will let you know which CSS selectors can be removed safely.
If you are making use of precompilers like Less or Sass, then you should compile the stylesheets you have and then turn them into simple CSS files for the task of Deadweight. As chances are there that third-party or vendor CSS files can clog your output, it is recommended that you remove them. It enjoys 3 stars and 0 forks on GitHub.
The Bullet gem works on to reduce the number of queries all the while trying to improve the performance of the application. When developing the application, it will watch your queries and let you when you should use the counter cache, when you are using eager loading which is not necessary and when you should add eager loading (N+1 queries). Using Bullet as a part of the development is considered as a best practice.
Echowrap is a Ruby interface for Echonest API. The Echonest API is based on a database which is automatically derived, which comes with 30 million songs which are aggregated using data mining, web crawling, and techniques of digital signal processing. The API offers support for playlist generation, artist recommendation, music recommendation, acoustic analysis, data feeds and music identification.
If you are using Ruby on Rails to come up with internal utilities and any throwaway prototypes so as to develop complete web apps, then you should go for Hobo. They are nothing but a collection of plugins or open source gems to help you with development. The main aim behind using this gem is to have less code to write. Here less coding means you may even feel you are not writing anything at all rather taking some efforts to declare what you want.
Traceroute is used for Rails applications as a route cleaning tool. It comes up with rake tasks which can be used to know which controller actions cannot be reached and which routes are mapped to the actions of non-existing controller. You will also have to keep different before/after filters and helper methods of controller private as they are not supposed to be part of the public API. It also shows some errors when showing mountable engines with false positive, but it is possible to overlook it easily.
Whenever file or directories are altered, Guard automates different tasks which are based on custom rules. This tool is generally and frequently used by web designers, software developers, writers or other experts working on the project so as to avoid repetitive, mundane actions and commands like “relaunching” after changing configurations or source files. Common use cases include automating different project tasks, IDE replacement, designing responsive and smart build workflows or systems, web development tools, installing and monitoring different system services.
In order to provide a quality report for your Ruby code, RubyCritics wraps around static analysis gems like Reek, Flog and Flay. In order to help you move through your code and begin with refactoring, it develops HTML structure which is nicely created. No doubt there are a number of static code analysis tools out there, but RubyCritic can be considered as the most convenient one in terms of getting an overview as well as to comment with your colleagues.
If you want to develop web apps using Ruby with minimum effort, you should go for DSL like Sinatra. It is quite easy to get started and is very well documented.
Brakeman is in actual sense vulnerability scanner which has been designed keeping just Ruby on Rails applications in mind. This tool is open source in nature. You can use this tool at any stage of Rails application development and can be used to analyze the code statistically so as to find any security threats during different stages of development.
If you want to find bottlenecks in your application, then you should go for Rack-mini-Profiler tool. This tool will carry out speed analysis on how much time was taken to process the request, time taken for database queries, time is taken for various renderings and DOM loadings. You will be able to see all this information on a small window which will appear on the upper left corner of the page just by plugging into your gem file.
RoboCop is a static code analyzer for Ruby. Many of the guidelines which the community Ruby Style Guide has outlined can be enforced. If you are not following the style guide completely, you may feel that the analyzer is quite irritating, but you should also know that it is highly configurable. The gems will report any violations to the style through the command line and it will make use of a number of useful code refactorings like the repetitive use of Object#to_s interpolation, useless variable assignment or unused method argument.
RoboCop is divided into 4 sub analyzers, namely Metrics, Lint, Rails and Style. These sub analyzers are called cops and you can define which one to be used as well as decide which files to include or exclude. Different configuration options can be tweaked too.
YARD is a tool which you can use to preview the codes all the while you are writing the documentation for the application in Ruby. It supports your own DSL, comes with easy-to-customize templates and even comes with a large number of extensions. Here new extensions get added every day. If you consider any other Ruby-based tool, you will realize that YARDis only documentation tool for Ruby which offers support for having metadata along with your documentation. You can create consistent documentation in any format for your project using this metadata. In order to modify the existing templates, YARD can be used the right solution as it comes with a powerful templating system. In simple and normal case, you can even have custom metadata added to your docs just with the command-line.
Rails Best Practices
If you want to find specific code smells in Rails, go for this static code analyzer. You will get a variety of suggestions here like add database indexes, restrict auto-generated routes, use scope access, etc. There is an official rails-best-practices official page and you can check it out to get a complete list of suggestions. Most of these suggestions are good and it will let you know how to refactor your code as well as learn a few best practices.
Whether you are up to developing a small or large application, you need to be sure the development process takes place smoothly and seamlessly all the while having clear and organized codes.
Even for experienced developers, it is not possible to carry out development in the best possible manner on their own. This is such situations that the tools like the ones listed above will help you fasten up the process of coding in the most organized manner.
So, if you are into Ruby on Rails development, then it is expected of you to have a clear understanding of these tools for better growth and project delivery.